Stopping insulin is arguably the most important step in losing fat and staying lean.
By “stopping” insulin, I mean keeping insulin levels low in your body. Insulin is of course necessary for a healthy physiology. It is needed to carry glucose into cells so that it can be used as energy. Glucose is a primary fuel that keeps your cells energized and running.
So if insulin plays an important role, why do you want less of it in your body? The answer is that a healthy body is very efficient with insulin and shouldn't need to produce a lot to deliver glucose into cells.
An unhealthy and typically fat body produces lots of insulin, too much insulin, and this physical state is called insulin resistance. This is when cells become resistant to the signals they get from insulin. The cells are not sensitive to insulin anymore because the body produces so much. Cells become numb to it.
So what does insulin resistance have to do with body fat? Here’s the important thing: insulin is an anabolic, pro-growth, fat-storing hormone. The higher it is, the more fat you're storing. And here's another very important fact: insulin also prevents the burning of fat by inhibiting the enzyme AMPK . This enzyme, often triggers the upregulation of fat burning - the rate at which the mitochondria in your cells use fat for energy.
So that is why insulin is so involved in body weight. If you want to maintain a healthy weight, insulin needs to be controlled. The truth is clear: a healthy body is very sensitive to insulin and your pancreas should not have to produce a lot of it to ferry glucose into your cells.
There are many factors that influence insulin sensitivity. Lots of things from sex hormones to environmental pollutants can affect insulin levels but the most powerful determining factor is your blood sugar. The higher the level of glucose is in your blood, the higher your insulin needs to be to get the glucose out of the blood and into cells.
This is why people with chronically high blood sugar levels have insulin resistance (high insulin). Type II diabetes (insulin resistance) is often accompanied by obesity or being overweight.
High blood sugar is extremely unhealthy and has been exposed more and more in recent years as very damaging to the body. Blood sugar is supposed to stay fairly even in a tightly-controlled range, not tumultuous with dramatic spikes and crashes. But often, people eat processed starches and sugary foods that spike their blood sugar and put them at risk of chronic blood glucose elevation.
Along with making you fat, elevated blood sugar can cause a host of other health problems and damage your body in numerous ways. Here's a small list of possible complications from chronically elevated blood sugar and insulin resistance:
Above is only a partial list and you can bet that high blood sugar can affect your health nearly every way because of the damage it can exert on all parts of your body. High blood glucose can cause destructive:
Besides being at risk for disease, you will also feel like crap if you're not metabolizing sugar like you’re supposed to. If too much sugar is in your blood and not being taken into your cells by insulin, your cells can’t be energetic and perform their duties. For example, your sluggish brain might be causing hazy thinking and your sluggish liver might not be able to process toxins efficiently.
Follow these lifestyle tricks to help keep lean, keep glucose levels in their healthy range.
Eating whole and natural foods is a great step in the direction of lowering blood sugar to a healthy level. The fiber and phytochemical antioxidants in these foods slow down sugar absorption and you don’t get the dramatic spikes that processed grains like white bread, pasta, or white rice give you. Whole plant foods that promote flower sugar absorption are called “low-glycemic” foods because they don’t raise blood sugar as quickly as processed or high sugar foods.
The American Diabetes Association has endorsed the eating of low glycemic foods.
Exercise can accelerate the movement of glucose out of the blood and lower blood glucose . Exercise also increases AMPK activity, promoting fat and glucose burning, and increases insulin sensitivity (lowering your need for insulin) .
Yes, it sounds old fashioned, but simply eating less has been shown to improve glucose control by activating AMPK more as well as lowering glucose and insulin .
Carbohydrates aren’t the only thing that raises insulin!
The amino acids in protein also require insulin to be delivered to cells and large portions of meat can spike insulin and meat consumption is associated with higher fasting glucose and insulin . Harmful substances in cooked meat called advanced glycation end products can also interrupt insulin’s action. And low-carbohydrate diets that are heavy in meat have been evidenced to decrease insulin sensitivity .
There are also specific natural ingredients that aid in lowering sugar in your body to help you lose weight. Specific herbs and nutrients can also be used to encourage healthy blood sugar levels. These nutritional ingredients can do the job.
This is a wonderful anti-diabetic herb that is native to the tropical forests of Sri Lanka and India. Gymnemic acids in this herb block sugar absorption in your intestines, preventing some of the rise in blood sugar after eating, and can also block the taste of sugar to your tastebuds, reducing cravings for unhealthy foods .
The effects of gymnema in rats are exciting. The herb reduced glucose levels to normal in diabetic rats and also had strong antioxidant effects (16).
Gymnema sylvestre is evidenced to be effective against obesity and researchers think this is largely because it prevents sugar absorption from the intestines into the blood (17). It actually blocks the receptors that send sugar into digestion (17).
This acid is naturally in your body, where it functions as an antioxidant and enables energy production in your mitochondria. As a supplement, it can exhibit impressive detoxification and antioxidant effects and can also lower blood sugar and insulin . In one study, fasting blood glucose was “significantly” reduced in type II diabetes patients .
Alpha-lipoic acid also causes “significant” weight loss in obese people . A review of numerous studies on alpha lipoic acid and weight loss showed that the antioxidant does likely promote weight loss .
A variety of animal studies have shown the blood sugar-lowering effect of bitter melon and researchers believe that part of the reason for this is the induction of the AMPK enzyme . AMPK is an energizing enzyme that triggers the burning of fat and sugar. Bitter melon also has been shown to fight obesity and reduce body weight .
Chromium is a trace element that facilitates proper insulin production in the pancreas . Insulin is needed to move glucose out of the blood and into cells to be used. Supplementation with chromium lowers fasting glucose levels .
Guggul is an herb that is revered in traditional Indian ayurvedic medicine. It has a variety of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective effects, and other effects. Like these other ingredients, guggul helps lower blood sugar . It also helps improve the health of diabetic patients by reducing body weight .
Guggul has been shown to lower some of the negative effects of diabesity and obesity like elevated blood triglycerides (fat) (18).
Antioxidants in fruits and veggies often improve glucose utilization in the body and can help lower blood sugar. Berries are often rich in antioxidants and juniper berries, perhaps unsurprisingly have been shown to lower blood sugar (19). In rats, blood sugar levels dropped substantially after administration (19). An alcohol extract of Juniper Berry also caused a drop in blood sugar (20).
Biotin is a B vitamin that is integral in sugar metabolism (21). In humans, biotin reduces a diabetes marker - HbA(1c) - which is an indication of how much damage sugar has done to the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells (21). Higher blood sugar levels cause this damage (HbA1c) to increase. Biotin also reduces blood sugar levels (21). Remember these results are in humans - overweight people with diabetes - so it's a good indication that biotin fulfills its duty for real.
Biotin has also been shown to improve blood sugar control in patients who were already taking insulin by had poor sugar control (22).
This mineral has received a lot of attention over the past decade because of how essential it is to virtually all bodily processes. Magnesium is essential for over 300 enzymatic processes that enable your cells to perform their duties.
Blood sugar does not escape magnesium's influence. Magnesium has been found to be very important in enabling insulin to function properly (23). A large review on magnesium's beneficial effects in diabetes patients found that most studies have demonstrated that magnesium has beneficial effects (23). Magnesium deficiency is connected to diabetes and worsening insulin resistance and magnesium deficiency is also correlated with high blood sugar(23) .
Taurine is an amino acid that is found in all tissues in the body. It may seem surprising that a simple amino acid can affect blood sugar and diabetes, but studies have shown that taurine protects against many side effects of diabetes and high blood sugar .
Taurine’s antioxidant effects are thought to prevent the damage caused by high blood sugar and it appears that taurine enhances insulin’s ability to ferry glucose into cells .
Sometimes getting numerous ingredients in your body at once to fight elevated blood sugar and weight gain can make a powerful difference. For people looking for an extra push of benefits, a safe, nontoxic, natural supplement that has been expertly formulated can be a big help!
“After years of studying, in depth, the impact of nutrition on health and physiology, I’m confident that this ebook will give people valuable information to transform their health by taking control of their blood sugar and weight. Attributes like these are very modifiable - there is a multitude of ways to effectively lower the high blood sugar seen in type II diabetes and lose weight. Implementing the knowledge in this ebook can help you do these things!”